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GSP Plus has not helped Pakistanmuch

Pakistan’s progress in gaining advantage of the GSP Plus status has not been impressive.

The increase in exports to the EU during the first half of 2014 was about 12 per cent. There has not been much increase after that. In 2012-13 the growth was 12 per cent per annum. Exports during the year 2013-14 increased by 28 per cent. Exports in 2014-15 decreased by 1.3 per cent, then marginally increased by 1.1 per cent in 2015-16.

During the years 2008-17, exports to the EU increased at a rate of about seven to eight per cent a year. With the inclusion of Pakistan in the GSP Plus, it was expected that Pakistan’s exports to the EU would increase by 20 per cent or more during the next few years.

Pakistan’s exports to the EU are generally concentrated in six countries, the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands and Belgium. They have accounted for around 80 per cent of the total trade to the EU for the last ten years.

This shows that Pakistan was unable to diversify its exports to other countries. The product mix of exports has also remained the same. Textile and textile products are the major export products and account for around 65 per cent of total exports, followed by food and beverages.